Monday, June 19, 2017

The Aftermath of Parenthood

by Carol

In Tuesday's post, Leigh wondered why her attitude about summer is changing as her kids change. I responded that the hard and wonderful part of motherhood is that the kids are always changing. With more thought I'll add that the goals are always changing. The surrounds are always changing. and the times are always changing. And guess what? All that means that you are always changing - whether you want to or not.

Now, I am not insinuating that bringing up a new puppy is anywhere near on a par with bringing up children, but I have been noticing lately that it is highlighting a different me. I have brought up three puppies in my adult life. I have never attended a puppy training class, hired a dog-walker or bought anything but grocery store food. I let them play around me as I gardened, let them out the back door at night for a quick pee, and bought whatever leash the local pet store carried. And they all have been wonderful canine citizens, living long and happy lives with my family.

But now, with my kids grown and a new puppy on board, I am nervous about doing things right. Perhaps this is because despite having a veterinarian father and having brought up  three dogs and 5 cats, two pet adoption agencies turned me down because I work! They were adamant about puppies needing several small meals throughout the day, special food and lots more attention than a working person can give them. I know these people's hearts are in the right places, but I feel that is a bit extreme (since most of America works, and these potential adoptees were living in cages).  Yet it planted self-doubt. I guess the advice is always changing. Perhaps this is just a part of the high maintenance culture now. (I mean, do you ever remember your mother having regular manicures and pedicures?) The times too are always changing.

But I think its also me who has  changed. When you have been a parent; when you have lived a few more years, you have seen a few more things. You realize the value of precaution, and also the frailty of it. You see the potential situations carry for both harm and good. You truly understand the trust that a young soul puts in you, and the importance of unconditional love in each life (and in the world). When you have survived "putting down" a few best friends, you realize that you have truly made a "cradle to grave" commitment. You also realize, like Leigh did last week, what a miracle it is to watch a life develop, how very quickly the time passes and how every moment of joy must be savored. And how very lucky those of us are who were brought up by loving parents

So this isn't really a post about puppies.....Happy Father's Day!


Sandra said...

A lovely article and a beautiful photo at the top of the path with an excellent quotation!

Cathy H. said...

Age brings wisdom. If I could go through raising my children again, I would spend more time living in the moment and feeling the joy of being with them. Life passes too fast, we all know that, but we still hurry through it. We do need to savor every moment.

Dotti said...


terriporter said...

Ah, life! Yes, it keeps us on our toes because it never stays the same. Just when you figure out one stage with your children, they are on to something else and you have to figure it out all over again! And don't get me started on advice: nothing changes as fast as all advice you can find on any given subject! I'm like Cathy - I would gladly go back and do it again with the knowledge I have now. "They" told us it would go quickly but we didn't believe them. I thing grandchildren gives us a second change to savor every moment because we know how fleeting they are. Glad you finally got that puppy, Carol, in spite of the naysayers!

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